Nightmare (1956)

Genres - Mystery, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller, Film Noir, Police Detective Film  |   Release Date - May 11, 1956 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Adam Bregman

Invoking the time-honored noir theme of a man trapped in a bad dream that he can't escape from or figure out, Nightmare is a trippy mystery set to a slick, jazz soundtrack. Among the film's highlights are Gina (Connie Russell's) knockout vocal numbers with Louise Simes (Billy May) leading the band, Edward G. Robinson's performance on the right side of the law for a change, and the dream sequences which are remarkably well crafted. From the beginning of Nightmare, when Stan Grayson Kevin McCarthy awakes in a sweat, to the end, the film is shot through a brown filter, which is meant to create a cloudy, dream-like effect, but is not so attractive visually. But the film has enough twists and turns in its plot, that eventually you forget everything is brown. The sequence where Stan, Rene, Gina and Sue arrive at a mysterious, deserted house, which Stan remembers from his original nightmare, is among the film's most effective.